Michelle Reid-Powell


MichelleMy Role on the CARA Team

Enthusiastic Agent of Change Eager to Drive Performance

As Vice President, Talent Management and Organizational Effectiveness, my role on the CARA team is to discover new ways to help our clients solve business problems, and to help organize our resources to do that.

How I Got Here

I started as a technical writer, graduating from University of IL Chicago with a BA in English (go…commuters?). I was lucky to have early success in my first professional roles at Productivity Point and Arthur Andersen, and eventually I found myself leading large-scale instructional design projects. I became fascinated by the work and wanted to improve my skills, which led to a Master’s degree in Education (Instructional Design and Technology) from NIU.

I then went to Whittman-Hart/marchFIRST to lead the training efforts on their company-wide ERP implementation. That experience led to a position leading distance education and strategic education for the company’s consultants and support staff. After marchFIRST burst in the dot-com bubble, I went to McDonald’s, where I led their first Global e-Learning program. As Director of Worldwide Training, Learning and Development, I was responsible for developing and executing the vision, mission, strategy, and balanced scorecard for the Worldwide Training Learning and Development department.

My last stop before CARA was at Potbelly Sandwich Works, were I was given the opportunity to lead the company through significant change, including the implementation of a new business strategy, company culture, and a new training curriculum as Senior Director of Training and Leadership Development.

In each of these positions I have had the honor of working for some really talented coaches who were kind (and patient) enough to help me get better. I’ve been fortunate, as well, to work with many team members who kept the work engaging and inspirational, and helped me achieve so much more than I ever could have on my own.

Why I Joined CARA

When my longtime friend and mentor, Sue Deisinger, joined the CARA Group, I knew it must be a special place. I was familiar with CARA as a recognized name in the industry, and had great experiences hiring CARA consultants ever since my Arthur Andersen days. After getting to know the leadership team (Jane, Dan and Tina), I was convinced that this is a company with a very special culture – one in which relationships are valued first and foremost. They truly do believe that the only way to be successful in this business is to help others be successful, as you would a friend. As we talked and grew to know one another, it was clear that what I love to do – build solid, scalable plans that facilitate company growth and develop the culture – would be a great match for what CARA was trying to do as a business. It was meant to be!